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Stiletto Moody or.. Sasawe Capalini?

Sasawe Capalini, one of the creators of Stiletto Moody shoes has decided to sell them under his own label. I guess this is what happens when sweatshop designers feel that they have not been compensated properly. These shoe are identical to the ones sold at Stiletto Moody, but are priced cheaper and with a different label.

This situation totally confuses me! The facts are:

1. Stiletto Moody contracted Sasawe Capalini to create shoes for her label.
2. It’s perfectly within his right to resell these under his own label because… HE MADE THEM. Unless they have a contract stating otherwise.
3. They’re both ripping off Christian Louboutin designs.

I wonder if we will be seeing more shoes from Sasawe Capalini — perhaps the same exact ones produced for Stiletto Moody shoes but cheaper?

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  1. Stephanie Misfit

    Still not such a bargain at 800L! Stiletto Moody would have been extremely silly not to make Sasawe Capalini sign a contract giving her exclusive rights to the product.

  2. Meara D

    Agree and double-agree. And at first I thought, “oooh…I’ll go check those out since those are cute!” but ugh, $800L? I just can’t do it.

  3. Annyka Bekkers

    “I guess this is what happens when sweatshop designers feel that they have not been compensated properly.”
    Is this a true statement? Have you spoken to anybody involved or are you just speculating?
    If this is true, and somehow Stiletto reneged on paying him or somehow broke their deal, then I say Hurrah! for new shoes! and I’ll be the first in line to buy them from Sasawe.
    If, on the other hand, Sasawe is the one backing out of an agreement because he thinks he can make more money or be more famous, then that’s highly questionable, in my opinion.
    And contracts are not always necessary, if it can be proven that there was an implicit agreement that these shoes were being created exclusively for Stiletto.
    Meh. I’m not buying from either of them until I learn more of the story.

  4. Anessa Stine

    Their are a few things that worry me about this post, and in this ever escalating climate of accusation and apparent expose on blog after blog – it is wise to operate with caution when posting potentially inflammatory information. More specifically;
    Statement 1: “Sasawe Capalini, one of the creators of Stiletto Moody shoes has decided to sell them under his own label”
    Please notice the puffed pink heart emblem displayed on the bottom of the Sesawe’s shoe (can be seen clearly in your flickr stream), that is in fact Stiletto Moody’s trademark (logo), and regardless of the specifics of who mapped what sculpt that is her brand identity, smudging her name off and adding his own could be considered an IP abuse.
    Statement 2: “I guess this is what happens when sweatshop designers feel that they have not been compensated properly.”
    That is an allegation, it appears to be unsupported at this time since you have not presented any specifics of the arrangement between Stiletto Moody and Sesawe Capalini. Failing to pop the word alleged in front of such an assertion is slander and can actually open you up to a possible defamation lawsuit.
    And regarding your 3 stated ‘facts’ – If you claim he was ‘contracted’ you are implying there was a verbal and/or ‘written’ contract, therefore, fact 2 is merely speculative.
    I am also not a fan of people throwing around the term ‘ripped’ like it was candy, as you can see my post of this morning over at ‘On Your Toes’ – using RL inspiration to create in SL is being done by some very well respected content creators. I for one will continue to support any creator – collaborative or otherwise – who abides by SL’s terms of service, produces an original product for in-world consumption, and makes pretty things I want to wear.

  5. AnnaZwiers

    If you inspect the Sasawe Capalini shoes you can see several pieces were made by Stilleto Moody and Photon Pink. So no real victims here.

  6. Courtney P

    I’ve only bought a single pair of SM shoes and thats when they first came out and were 50% off for members…and still, its pretty spendy in my book! So, this won’t really effect my purchases in SL, but it does all seem a little fishy. Are you freinds with Sasawe? I thought I remembered you saying so in another post. But, as far as ripping of Louboutin, I think a lot of SL designers take inspiration from RL designers and in my opinion, I see nothing wrong with that. Its like in RL, after the Oscars or fashion week, you see lower priced brands popping up with designs inspired from high fashion. It seems only natural that trends would carry over into our virtual world. Anyway, I’d like to hear more of the story if you have it. I certainly wouldn’t want to support a “sweatshop” in SL that isn’t giving their designers compensation or recognition they agreed upon. But I wouldn’t want to go around telling that to my friends either if there was an established contract that both parties agreed on.

  7. gogolita

    A contract just means an agreement to do something, (sasawe —> make shoes —> gets paid —> stiletto moody sells them), it doesn’t have to include any other terms and condition to be able to call it a CONTRACT.
    And the puff pink heart? It’s a full perm item sold by Photon Pink. Is it really an exclusive Stiletto Moody trademark? Can NOBODY ELSE use a pink sculpted heart on their shoes? 😛
    And btw, I fully support and exercise my freedom of speech.

  8. LizaZ

    Your freedom to write (rather than speak) is, of course yours to do with as you please, unless you writing is in any way defamation of character.
    I posted here once before and follow your blog, I would have to agree with Anessa’s comments completely, and also with that of Courtney.
    You seem to be very biased in your writing, which tells me, as an outsider looking in and not knowing much of Second Life, that you probably do know these developers (I use that term, since that is what I do in life) and bear some grudge against this Stiletto Moody.
    Contracts can, of course, be written or verbal, either way they are statements of good faith, if the person behind, this avartar Sasawe, even verbally said he gave Stilleto Moody the rights then that is enough, at least it would be in the real word.
    Personally even if there is only a verbal contract with sufficient substantiating evidence to support it, I would be slapping this Sassawe with a lawsuit.
    You mentioned sweatshops, although you also mention that he has been paid for his development, so clearly Sasawe does not fall into the sweatshop category, doesn’t it cost to set up ‘shop’ in this game?, sweatshops, rightly or wrongly, suggests to me that Sasawe might live in China or somewhere similar. Hmmm… now wouldn’t that be convenient given their lack of respect generally for western laws.
    and, yes hearts especially with the name on them as I see above, can indeed be copyrighted and protected, there have been many cases involving the use and abuse of logos and trademarks and signs in law, and, no, it does not have to be the same, just substantially equivalent and done with intent.. placing it so on a shoe, that clearly looks like the ones from Stilleto Moody, that is infringement. So it even looking at the pictures is not, as you put it ‘anyone using a heart’
    So where does this second life meet real life? I must admit I probably shall avoid this game, however intriguing, since it seems the ‘heart’ of the problem is lack of control by Linden.

  9. gogolita
    Wikipedia is your friend, k.
    “This can include exposure to harmful materials, dangerous situations, extreme temperatures, or abuse from employers.”
    “Though often associated with third-world countries, sweatshops can exist in any country.” Sweatshops DO NOT only exist in China or somewhere similar.
    If you want to talk about copyright infringement….
    “Designer shoe master Christian Louboutin is battling to trademark the signature red soles on all his shoe designs. Christian has grown tired of other companies cashing in on his popularity by putting red soles on their own shoes to imitate his legendary design. Louboutin is currently in a legal battle with New York-based shoe label Oh…DEER! over its use of the signature. Christian Louboutin has filed a trademark application in the US and UK to protect his scarlet soles.“The shiny red colour of the soles has no function other than to identify to the public that the shoes are mine,” the designer told the US Trademark Office, according to reports this weekend.”
    Let’s just say I believe what I write, otherwise I wouldn’t write it. You can call that biased or whatever you want. 🙂

  10. natashanortholt

    I am surprised no one has asked yet why Sasawe even did this in the first place? If he were happy with the compensation Stiletto was giving him, he wouldn’t do this I think. People generally don’t bite the hand that is feeding them.

  11. RubyGarnet

    I am wondering why it is that people strike out on their own as well. Perhaps it’s because they wish to make a name for themselves, or to find the fame and glory they may think they have the talent to obtain. Only time will tell whether this is the case, or whether the “grass is always greener” opinion which Sasawe allegedly had, will cause him to regret his actions and go running back to Stiletto asking for mercy for having stolen her trademark and shoes, reneged on their contract, and having broken her trust.

  12. melaniekiddofsl

    O_O I think it’s pretty obvious why Sasawe did this.
    He obviously stands to make a lot more if he just sold his work on his own, it’s that simple. There are plenty of designers in SL who are doing just that, after all. Right off the top of my head, I can easily think of a dozen designers who do their own design work as well as handle marketing, etc.
    My guess is now that Sasawe has a better grasp of the kind of money that is flowing around Stiletto’s business, he just wants to profit more handsomely by his own work as was alluded to earlier in Natasha’s comment. I bet he probably feels that the cut he was getting under whatever arrangement they had, wasn’t enough.
    And before anyone starts going off on how this happens all the time in RL with employees generating creative works while the owners of the company they work for reap most of the benefits, let me point out that in SL, things ARE different. Is Sasawe getting paid medical benefits? Is he being provided with a comfortable office space, or does he have to procure this on his own? Does Stiletto have to continually pay for new raw materials to reproduce the works of her employees? No, she gets the shoes, and it’s practically a money-printing press. Don’t believe me? Go stand in her shop for an hour and listen to the scripted vendors tell their respective customers that their items will be delivered; go and count how many fatpacks get churned out. There’s lots of money involved, and I think what all of this boils down to is that these artisans would like to see a bigger cut of the revenue for the work that they’ve put into these products, especially when they finally understand the kind of profit that is being generated.

  13. Annyka Bekkers

    “Is Sasawe getting paid medical benefits? Is he being provided with a comfortable office space, or does he have to procure this on his own?”
    That’s called “Freelance”, and its the way a very large portion of the creative industry works in RL. I work for one of the largest financial institutions in the world, and I get no benefits or medical. I just get paid for the work I do. I always have the right to work for other clients, but I DON’T have the right to take the work I did for one client and sell it to another one.
    Its very easy to look at this story and see Stiletto as the bad guy. She overcharges for shoes she didn’t create, so she must be greedy. Therefore she must be exploiting her designers, right?
    But its just as easy to look at this situation and conclude that Sasawe just royally screwed Stiletto big time. Does anyone here know how much she paid him for those shoes and what they had agreed she was paying for?
    Who knows? Maybe HE is the greedy one. Judging by the fact that he’s now selling his shoes for 800L, maybe Stiletto was only making 25L a pair. Maybe the exorbitant cost went to paying his high fee.
    The thing is, its all speculation, and without knowing the details of their agreement and what really happened, its just spreading rumors. For all we know, they parted on good terms. That’s why this article is unfair to paint Stiletto as a sweatshop operator who doesnt properly compensate her designers.
    I really hope that a responsible blogger will try and get the the truth of this because it is a pretty interesting story.

  14. Jhuzen Ketsugo

    I find this post particularly disturbing for a few reasons:
    We do not know any of the particulars of the arrangements between Stiletto and Sasawe. We do not know whether Sasawe was operating under the directions of Stiletto, her sketches or vision, or his own, and we don’t know who made the textures (non-sculptie or sculptie) that produce each piece of this shoe. The fact that they are based on a RL shoe is also a ludicrous argument, I saw you blog [[seVan]] recently, and if you didn’t notice, those are photo-real clothes. So by gushing about them, you are supporting the use of RL inspirations for garments, unless the team at[[seVan]] sewed these garment in RL stitch by stitch, and then phtographed them to bring them in-world, I don’t see how you can say that is any different from what Stiletto had done in creating a prim by prim reproduction of a shoe.
    I think the price of the shoes is irrelevant, Stiletto can only price her shoes at a level the market can support, if no one was willing to pay the 750-1000L price, then they would not sell, period.
    What is important here is that Stiletto is behind the development of a brand, she did the advertising, built her brand from nothing to what it is now, and she pays for her land, tier fees, and all the rest of the ‘Overhead’. If she contracted and worked on these shoes with Sasawe, then it was with his consent at some point, whatever may now be the case. She did not stand over his back, while he worked, and demand his participation. This ‘Sweat Shop’ Accusation is ludicrous, and while they can ideed exist anywhere in the world, we all come in to second life as equals, an equipped computer and internet access is what makes it an even playing field.
    Using the “Wiki” definition of a ‘sweat shop’ does not strengthen your argument. We understand exactly what you meant Go Go. It was that you would put the names “Stiletto Moody” and “Sweatshop” together that is the concern. It did not stengthen the argument of those individuals that took on LaynieWear of their support of ‘Autism Speaks in SL” citing the Wikipedia as proof that supporting “Autism Speaks in SL” was tantamount to being a Nazi. While the Wikipedia can be a source of information, it is open to additions by everyone under the sun regarless of their education, experience, or research, accurate or not, it is therefore not the final word on anything.
    Stiletto would have never gotten the participation of Sasawe if they had not had some sort of arrangement, and that arrangement is not our business, it is theirs alone. The fact that Sasawe is selling a shoe now that has some components built by Stilleto herself, suggests to me that his conduct is more suspect, if he is striking out on his own, and reproducing a shoe that is not 100% his own work either, how is he any less questionable then the accusation you are heaving at Stilleto.
    If he left becuase he felt his work was unappreciated, undercompensated, or that he could build a better wheel on his own, then he would not need to stick the heart on the bottom of the sole and use any component of stilleto’s creation or trademark in his own shoe. If he made every piece himself, then he could rebuild it with entirely his own name on each component, not an amalgam of both. Whatever you may say about the availabiity of the full perms heart on the sole, Stiletto was the first to do it in SL, so while hearts are her not her intellectual property, it’s exact placement with her name on it is.
    It is clear from your argument and subsequent reactions to this post that you are operating from a place of personal opinion, and that is your right, I do not suggest otherwise. I only say that your personal opinion, where it intersects with another’s ability to procure a livlihood and can potentially slander the good name of another is also your responsibility, and you are therefore subject to equal scrutiny and potential libel. I would love to see a follow-up from you where you present any sort of evidence as a base for your statements, or the explicit participation of any of the individuals directly involved.

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